I have partnered with Kronos and the 1 in 100 Million series to bring you this post on teaching kids gratitude.
When I think of raising my son to be what I want him to be – a good, wholesome, respectful and grateful person, the first thing that comes to mind always is “am I that?”
Obviously, we can only direct and show – we can’t manipulate. So when it comes to choosing a path for my son, the path that I want him to be on, I know I must be that myself.
That’s why, when I want to teach my son about gratitude, the first step is to work on my own.
How many times have I been shopping and gotten impatient with the person behind the counter?
How many times have I been frustrated with a brand and taken it out on the customer service representative?
I am currently working on reframing my day-to-day interactions with the people I come across – the chef at a favorite restaurant, the delivery person, the salesperson…
Here are 5 simple ways to work on gratitude and respect in my everyday dealings:
- Stop to think: when we react, we often say things we don’t mean. Getting in the habit of stopping and thinking before reacting can help stop us from lashing out.
- Reframe the situation: Usually, the initial frustrations that happen aren’t really ALL that bad. It’s just in the moment that we expect things to go a certain way and they don’t. When we rethink it, we can understand that the other person is really trying to help us, and is most likely on our side – if we allow them to be!
- Allow the other party to be on your side: When dealing with another person, that person usually has a boss. And by empathizing with that person, and understanding that they are answering to someone higher up, you’ll not only get better service, but you’ll be a happier, less antagonistic person.
- Practice empathy – Recognizing that the person on the other side is not just another salesman, another waiter, another zookeeper – rather a human with a life, good days, bad days, and a story – can help build proper respect and attitude.
- Learn about the person – On a practical level, it helps to learn the story behind real people in our everyday situations. It helps to visualize that the cashier is a mom with kids, working weird hours to put food on the table. It helps to imagine that the server who spilled your coffee is a kid from a disadvantaged home working long hours to build a better life for himself. It helps to reframe them into situations that can apply to us too – and then we’ll be more likely to react in the way we would want others to react with us.
I recently discovered a unique (and free!) program that I actually couldn’t stop watching. It’s all about workforce stories and the humans behind the job.
1 in 100 Million features short, fascinating episodes detailing the lives and experiences of people in various workforces. I loved watching how people live around these various jobs we don’t even think about (have you thought about the person who tests the pinball machines at your local arcade so that you have the perfect game?)
I watched one episode, Episode 16 for the purpose of this post, and then went on to the next and then the next….
The newest episode of 1 in 100 Million features Jennifer Miller, a saleswoman at a high-end jewelry retailer. It’s amazing to hear about the person behind the job, the humanitarian and charity work she does, and even just her passions. It amazes me to hear that her motivation lies behind working with people’s relationships every day. It really turns her into a relatable human, whom I can respect, communicate with, and view as a peer.
After watching a few episodes of 1 in 100 Million, I know that I will never view those people the same way again. The next time I interact with any of them, I will see them for who they are – or even for who they might be!
This will lead me to be a more grateful, respectful, and forgiving person, setting the right example for my son, and creating the perfect atmosphere for teaching kids gratitude.
You can sign up to watch this series for free here.